Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Northern Lights Express

Northern Lights Express project

Map of the Northern Lights Express corridor

View full-size map

The Northern Lights Express (NLX) is a proposed higher speed passenger rail project that would provide rail service between Minneapolis and Duluth. If constructed, NLX will operate on approximately 152 miles of existing BNSF rail corridor.

Current status

The Federal Railroad Administration completed an environmental review and approved the service development plan in early 2018. The project is eligible for an 80% federal matching grant, contingent upon securing state funding.

Follow NLX-related legislation

  • House Bill HF1109: Minneapolis and Duluth; high-speed passenger rail funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated.
  • House Bill HF1639: Passenger rail infrastructure funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated.
  • House Bill HF1683: Omnibus transportation bill.
  • House Bill HF1684: Omnibus transportation finance bill.
  • House Bill HF 2340: Grassy Point railroad bridge rehabilitation funding provided, bonds issued, and money appropriated.

Next steps

  • Secure capital and operating funding
  • Complete all necessary agreements with BNSF Railway and Amtrak
  • Final design and construction
  • Implementation of service